Planes, Trains, Automobiles and the Restaurants and Hotels in Between

As a frequent travel I sometimes wonder: Who writes the rules? I’m not just talking about the rules of the road, but the protocol that the service industry follows when a salesperson hits the road for overnight trips. As a salesperson for Static Clean International, if my travel schedule is within 350 miles in any direction from home, I typically drive. The hassle of the airport makes driving more practical and, frankly, more enjoyable. The big tossup is whether to take a car to New York City or take the train. The train seems to be winning the NYC battle, but elsewhere, it is the car.

Rules of the Road

It was interesting to learn that while the Romans had to deal with problems related to horse–drawn chariots, the “rules of the road” didn’t really start until the motoring age. The history of these rules is steeped in British law that dates back to the Highway Act of 1835.

It’s also interesting to note is the “rules of the road” spilled over into the “rules of the sea” for ships to follow when navigating the oceans of the world. Especially alarming is that no one vessel has absolute right of way over another vessel. There can be a “give way” and a “stand on” situation, where the “give way” vessel is burdened and a “stand on” vessel is one with privilege. However, the “stand on” vessel does not have absolute right of way over the “give way.” If a dispute that ends in a collision happens, you have to take it up with the Admiralty. Who’s up for a cruise?

Try driving your automobile on the roads of America using the rules of the sea. I’ve driven in Italy, and the rules of the sea seem fitting when trying to get from the outskirts of Rome to St. Peter’s Square. Nobody has the right of way, so everybody goes, and it resulted in a costly fine that took a year to settle with the Polizia.

The Importance of Eye Contact

Let’s assume that you made it safely to your hotel. After check in, you decide to eat at the hotel or go to a local restaurant. As you look around, you notice other people sitting by themselves, but they are seated so they are not face to face with each other. Instead they are dispersed throughout the eatery in a way that reduces eye contact. Doesn’t that seem silly? Many of the eating establishments of Europe place you shoulder to shoulder with complete strangers, which results in some great conversations.

Feeling Lucky is Relative

These same things happened in 1989 while visiting Yugoslavia, a country that no longer exists and is now divided into Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia. We found ourselves in the mountains just below Sarajevo without a hotel, so we decided to grab a bite at a local watering hole. The waitress sat us at a long table with complete strangers, so we struck up a conversation with a couple of gentlemen seated next to us. One man was a pilot for Yugoslavia’s national airline. He went on to tell us how lucky he was in life. He said, “You don’t understand — I have 12 hectares of land and a cow. I get fresh milk every day.” With help from our new friends, we ended up finding a clean hotel, and the next morning, as we jumped into our Yugo automobile, we came to realize how lucky we are to live in America, but that it is okay to bend the rules and make eye contact once in awhile.

It’s that personal connection with clients that we believe separates Static Clean from our competitors. Discover more about what we offer by contacting us.